We know which limits to push and which ones to respect. 

We won’t let a short-term injury become a long-term battle.

We take concussions seriously. And you should too.

Concussion can leave a lifelong impact

Sports are important to Canadians. They play a major role in who we are as a country. They make us healthier and happier. They bring us together as teams, fans and competitors. But unfortunately, the benefits of sports don’t come without inherent risks.

Concussions are a serious risk for athletes in any sport. A concussion is more than just a headache or a temporary loss of cognitive ability — it’s an invisible injury that can result in permanent brain damage if not treated correctly. But with proper identification and management, concussions are also treatable. Our online hub can help coaches, parents and athletes learn how to treat a concussion so injured players can get back in the game safely.

  • “…speaking of protocols, let’s have one. Let’s keep it as simple as possible and as strong and as accurate as possible.”

    Eric Lindros, NHL player, Olympic gold medalist, Hockey Hall of Fame, speaking at the Governor General’s Conference on Concussion in Sport

  • “We were looking at the bruises and blood on her knee and didn’t realize the most serious injury was the concussion in her head.”

    Gordon Stringer, father of Rowan Stringer (Rowan's Law)

  • “You have to teach smart recovery. If you want to play sport long-term then sometimes that means short-term breaks.”

    Rosie MacLennan, double Olympic gold medalist

  • “You can’t expect a concussed athlete to know they are concussed.”

    Karolina Wisniewska, eight-time Paralympic medalist, alpine skiing

  • “I think even when athletes are aware they should take time off, there’s a lot of fear that taking time off you’ll lose you gains that you made in training.”

    Tara Whitten, Olympic bronze medalist, cycling

  • “When you have a concussion, you don’t know you’re repeating your words. You don’t know how out of it you actually are.”

    Mercedes Nicoll, Canadian Olympic snowboarder

  • “I had a choice to make, as an athlete and as a mom: whether to identify all the symptoms I was having, or to hide them. It was really important for me to speak up on behalf of myself and let people know that I needed help.”

    Robbi Weldon, Canadian Paralympic cyclist

Face the facts about concussion

Child playing hockey


If you weren’t “knocked out”, you don’t have a concussion.


Only about 10 percent of concussions involve loss of consciousness.

Mother cares for son with headache


If there are no instant symptoms after impact, there's no concussion.


Concussion symptoms can appear even days after injury.

Skiers in helmets


I can't get a concussion if I'm wearing a helmet.


If someone wears a proper fitted helmet, it can’t prevent a concussion but it can reduce its severity and prevent other brain injuries, like skull fractures.

Injured athlete being helped by teammates

Up to 8.5x

Increased concussion risk after having a prior concussion.

Child being treated for head injury


Percent of all traumatic brain injuries sustained by children and youth.

Young athlete and coach

Over 40%

Increase in reported head injuries in football, hockey and soccer for children and youth.

The Canadian Guideline on Concussion in Sport

Like any other injury, the overwhelming majority of people fully recover from a concussion when it is properly identified and managed. Parachute’s Canadian Guideline on Concussion in Sport helps ensure that athletes with a suspected concussion receive timely, appropriate care so they can get better and return to what they love best: sport.

This Guideline addresses the following key areas:

Pre-season education

Head injury recognition

Onsite medical assessment

Medical assessment

Concussion management

Multidisciplinary concussion care

Return to sport

Get the Guideline

The four Rs of concussion management


the signs and symptoms of a concussion


the athlete from the game or practice


the athlete to a healthcare professional


to school and then to sport based on the recommendations of a physician

Football player being treated by a doctor
How can I identify a concussion?

In most cases, the brain can heal itself completely when a concussion is properly managed. The first step in that management is being aware of the signs and symptoms of a concussion.

A concussion can be sustained from any blow to the head, face, neck or body that causes the brain to move rapidly in the skull. If an athlete is concussed, they may a show wide variety of symptoms even days after the initial injury.

If an athlete shows or reports any concussion symptoms, or just “doesn’t feel right”, they should be removed from play and examined by a healthcare professional.

Learn the signs and symptoms of a concussion (PDF)


Student holding books
When can I return to school or work?

The brain needs time to heal after a concussion. Recent research has shown that activities that require concentration, such as reading, texting or screen time can cause concussion symptoms to reappear or worsen.

To properly manage a concussion, precautions need to be taken to ensure the individual returns to school or work at the right pace with the supervision of a healthcare provider.

Learn more (PDF)


Team doing a cheer
When can I return to sport?

Athletes who return to activities before recovering from a concussion are more likely to sustain a second concussion with more severe symptoms. However, once the brain has healed and with a physician’s approval, an athlete can gradually start returning to physical activities.

Returning to play safely requires patience, attention and caution, and will be a different experience for every athlete.


Return to Sport Guidelines (Parachute Canada)

The latest concussion news from SIRC

Concussion in Sport - Translating Evidence into Action

From playgrounds to international podiums, millions of Canadians participate in sport every day. While the health and social benefits of participating in sport far outweigh any potential risks, there are risks of injury. Whether you’re a coach, administrator, parent or athlete, we all have a...Read more

Being Smart about Concussions

Concussion continues to be a very hot topic in sport these days. In fact, the Governor General spent a full day today hosting a conference with former professional athletes, Olympic and Paralympic athletes, the...Read more

After concussion: Student-athletes return-to-learn

When a high school age student athlete receives a concussion, it’s important that all adults that interact with that student know how to provide the best atmosphere for them when they return to school. While...Read more

Canadian Sport Concussion Workshop

Canadian Sport Concussion Workshop at the Canadian Museum of Nature

On June 8, 2018, SIRC together with Sport Canada and Parachute, facilitated a workshop bringing together Canada’s national, provincial and community sport organizations and participants to coordinate efforts in the management of concussions.  

Held in the context of the Canadian Museum of Nature’s exhibition on The Brain: An Inside Story, the event featured the Honorable Kirsty Duncan, Minister of Science and Minister of Sport and Persons with Disabilities, as well as Olympian Mercedes Nicholl and Paralympian Robbi Weldon.

SIRC also unveiled the new We Are Headstrong concussion awareness campaign highlighting tools for sports to use when promoting the national harmonized approach to concussion management.

Watch video clips from the event


We Can Do Better: Governor General’s Conference on Concussions in Sport

Let's Talk About Concussions - Ottawa Sport Council 2017 Spring Summit

The Federal-Provincial/Territorial Working Group on Concussion in Sport

The F-P/T Workgroup was created in 2015, co-chaired by Sport Canada and the Government of Quebec, and is comprised of:

  • The Federal-Provincial/Territorial governments (Alberta, British-Columbia, Northwest Territories, New Brunswick, Ontario, Quebec, Sport Canada, and The Public Health Agency of Canada)
  • The national sport sector (The Coaching Association of Canada, Hockey Canada, the Canadian Soccer Association, the Summer Sports Caucus, the Winter Sports Caucus)
  • The health sector (The Canadian Concussion Collaborative, Parachute, the Canadian Physiotherapy Association, the Canadian Athletic Therapists Association)
  • The education sector (The Pan-Canadian Joint Consortium for School Health)

One of the key challenges in addressing concussions in Canada is the lack of harmonization amongst all the existing tools and protocols. In order to establish a common foundation from which to continue its work, the Workgroup developed a harmonized approach of awareness, prevention, detection, management and surveillance, which experts have indicated are the components that need to be addressed in order to tackle concussions in sport.

This approach was endorsed by all Ministers for Sport, Physical Activity and Recreation across the country at their Conference in June 2016.

National Concussion Community - Newsletter #1

Download your concussion toolkit

Share the message with your team

In these files you’ll find ready-made communication tools for spreading the campaign messages within your organization. Please contact us if you would like source artwork to create your own co-branded versions.


Campaign video

If you need a downloadable version, please contact SIRC



One page handout - Four Rs of Concussion

One page handout - postcard format



Prepared social media content (ZIP file)



16:9 Wide Screen

4:3 Full screen


5” x 7”

8” x 10”



300x250 (1) | 300x250 (2)



8-1/2” x 11”


Prepared social media content (ZIP file)


Concussion Apps

Help spread awareness about concussions with posters, videos and other marketing materials.

Concussion Ed

Created by Parachute Canada, Concussion Ed gives Canadian parents, youth and educators free access to critical concussion resources.

Concussion Awareness

A tool from Hockey Canada for anyone interested in learning about the prevention, recognition, and response to a concussion, including responsible return-to-play protocol.

World Rugby Concussion Management

World Rugby’s concussion app, designed for anyone involved in Rugby - players, coaches, parents, teachers, match officials, spectators, and anyone else with a role or interest in the Game.